For an astronaut costume or a science fiction adventure, a space helmet provides a crucial accessory. Most kids learn early that space lacks oxygen and that's why space suits always have a helmet and an oxygen pack. For Halloween, a theme party, a play or a school event, a space helmet completes the astronaut or spaceman's outfit. Though it may look like a difficult project, some basic household materials are all you need to build a kid's space helmet at home. Older children can make one themselves with some adult assistance.
Select a bucket for the helmet. White, silver or grey plastic buckets are realistic space-helmet choices. Regular plastic buckets in a standard size, with walls that are not too thick work well for this project.
Use the marker and ruler or tape measure to outline the faceplate. Make the opening at least 17.5 cm (7 inches) wide by 12.5 cm (5 inches) tall.
Poke a hole in the outline with a nail or ice pick. Using heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters, start the faceplate cut at the hole and cut around the outline to remove the faceplate.
Make foam-board supports 5 cm (2 inches) wide and 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) long that will support the base of the helmet. Use a ruler to mark the size on the foam. Cut the supports with a utility knife.
Roll a dishtowel lengthwise to make a long, rolled headband. Place the headband around the child's head above the forehead. Tape the headband so that it fits the child's head.
Use duct tape to secure the headband inside the top of the bucket. Use four strips of duct tape, each at least 7.5 cm (3 inches) long to tape the dishtowel in four directions.
Tape the top of each support near the bottom of the helmet on the inside. This is the back of the space helmet, opposite the faceplate side. Use a 10 cm (4 inch) strip of duct tape to secure each support.
Fit the space helmet on the child. If the helmet rests too low, make the dishtowel ring smaller or place it lower in the bucket, closer to the faceplate.
Wash the new bucket with hot water and dish soap before making the space helmet. Kids can decorate their space helmets with stickers, permanent markers or glow-in-the-dark paint. Make a regular back pack into an oxygen pack to complete the costume. Put the child's backpack into a white paper bag and tape the bag onto the pack. Attach a piece of flexible hose to the inside of back of the helmet with duct tape. Put the other end of the hose inside the backpack by poking a hole through the paper bag.
Check that the child can see well to both sides. For safety, cut the face plate larger to ensure adequate peripheral vision. Use only clean, unused materials for this project as these items will be near the child's face.
Things you need
- Plastic bucket
- Large, black permanent marker -- any kind
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Heavy-duty scissors, wire cutters or utility knife
- Large nail or ice pick
- Foam board
- Duct tape
- 2 clean cotton dishtowels